Preach Gender Equality, Not Religious Bigotry, Emir of Keffi Urges Clerics

By Kuni Tyessi

The Emir of Keffi, and Chancellor of Nasarawa State University, Dr. Shehu Chindo Yamusa, has called on all religious leaders in the country to preach sustainable gender equality and not to further polarise the nation through divisive teachings.

Also, he called on women in active journalism

to ensure enough and proper marketisation of women participation in politics, adding that it is sad the voices of female journalists are not loud enough in key programmes that would sensitize or motivate women to participate actively in politics.

The royal father spoke on Tuesday in Abuja during the Nigerian Men Conference on Gender Sensitive Constitutional Reform which was organized by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.

He said the use of poor strategies had greatly affected the intentions of women’s participation in politics and went ahead to task all “politicians subscribing to the stringent culture of stopping women to be active in the electoral processes and decision making to desist from this archaic way of behaviour.”

He called on the leadership of all political parties to include in their manifestos, certain reserved positions for women which must be noticed in the crusade of making women more inclusive, and to participate, rather than being passive.

He added that it was quite worrisome that political parties do not give special preference nor reserve elected and non elected positions for women.

“Of great relevance, I wish to call on our religious theologians to imbibe in their teachings, the roles of preaching for sustainable gender equality than engage in religious manipulations.

“In the same vein, I task all women civil societies or’ organizations to support the conference. You must persist and demonstrate lobbying dexterity to ensure that the gap in our present electoral reform of women non-recognition are resolved.

“It’s very important to call on the leadership of all political parties in Nigeria and beyond, to include in their manifestos certain reserved positions for women and must be noticed in the crusade of making women more inclusive, participative, than being passive in politics. It is quite worrisome that political parties don’t give special preference nor reserve elected and non elected positions to the women” he said.

In her speech, the Minister of Women Affairs, Dame Paullen Tallen, said the importance of increasing the participation of women in elected offices cannot be overstated, lamenting that currently, only eight women out of 109 legislators are women in the Senate and only 13 out of 360 legislators in the House of Representatives.

While emphasising that women do not only constitute about 50 per cent of Nigeria’s population but have contributed significantly to the political and socio-economic development, she said the case of women representation was even worse at the State Assembly level as there are only 40 women out of the 991 representatives.

Although the amendment of any country’s Constitution is cumbersome, the minister said many who are men leading the Institutions that are directly responsible for the passing of gender-sensitive Constitution alterations have so far been positive.

Source: This Day

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